The University of Iowa
Research Subject Compensation
The University of Iowa balances a responsibility to maintain various levels of confidentiality
for information about human research subjects with record keeping requirements of the State
of Iowa, grantor agencies and the Internal Revenue Service. Payments to subjects in research
studies will be recorded as a form of compensation. Payment may be a type of remuneration
including, but not limited to: checks, cash, gift certificates, personal property and other items
of value. The University of Iowa has adopted the following procedures to assure that these
transactions will be reported in accordance with state and federal income reporting
requirements with an appropriate level of confidentiality.
Each individual payment to a research subjects exceeding $25 will require the following
Name of subject
If not a U.S. Citizen, the following information will be needed.
1. Immigration (visa) status
2. Tax residency country (may not be the same as citizenship country)
3. Permanent foreign address
4. U.S. address
Social Security or Taxpayer Identification Number
Amount paid or value of the item given as compensation
For check payments of $25 or less, the Accounts Payable Office will need all of the above
information except for social security number.
Tax Considerations for Non-Resident Aliens
Federal regulations require that appropriate tax must be withheld at the time of
payment. The rate may vary from year to year.
FICA (Social Security and Medicare) tax is charged to NRAs that are subject to FICA
(immigration status other than F1 or J1) and all other “non-student” employees. The
University portion of FICA is not charged to the research grant.
At year-end, a 1042S tax form is mailed to the individual to be used in preparation of
his/her tax return.
Research subject payments to either employees of The University of Iowa or non-employees
are charged to institutional account #6240. Payment is processed through the e-Voucher
electronic application. A notation of “miscellaneous compensation” is the default in the
description field. This is what will be printed on the check stub. Once the form is created on-
line & routed electronically (through Workflow) for the appropriate approvals, it is directed to
Accounts Payable. The e-voucher can be used to make a single payment to one research
subject or payments to multiple subjects (Bulk Voucher). The Bulk Voucher cannot be used
when paying a non-resident alien research subject. All payments will be mailed to the
research subject unless the “Hold Check” box is marked.
Research subject payments to a non-employee of The University of Iowa exceeding a total of
$599 from all University of Iowa sources during any calendar year will result in a form 1099
(Miscellaneous Income) being issued to the individual with a copy sent to the Internal
Research subject payments made to The University of Iowa employees, at any time during the
calendar year, will be added to the employee’s form W-2 for that year. Payments will be
issued from Accounts Payable and will be separate from an employee’s monthly or bi-weekly
payroll check. Federal and State income tax as well as FICA/Medicare and Social Security
will be withheld from the next monthly or bi-weekly payroll check if applicable.
Subjects will be asked to provide the basic information including name, mailing
address and social security number. The subjects should be informed that the
information allows the University to meet government reporting obligations and
precautions are in place to keep this information secure. Subjects may be given the
opportunity to waive receipt of payment/s should they wish to not provide identifying
information. The Institutional Review Board requires this notification in the language
of the Consent Form.
Subjects having a compelling need for confidentiality or a concern that a connection
may be made between their identity and a particular research project may be paid from
a general use departmental account. The identifying information and the use of
institutional account #6240 would still be required. An adjusting entry (CV) to move
expense totals from the general use account to the project account will then be made at
the department level.
For confidentiality reasons, we have used the notation “Miscellaneous Compensation”
in the description field on the e-voucher form. This is what will print on the check.
The information to pay a research subject will be entered on-line into the e-Voucher
application and will routed electronically (through Workflow) for the necessary
approval/s. In order to protect subject confidentiality, assure the two necessary
approvals are received and expedite the payment process, we will request that the
minimum number of approval levels have access to these forms in Workflow. Keep in
mind that the initiator of the form & one other approval is the equivalent of two